FAQ’s About Geothermal Heating

As a homeowner, you understand the importance of finding ways to save money while trying to keep your home in tip-top shape. One of the best ways to save a significant amount of money is to invest in efficient HVAC equipment to heat and cool your home. That’s because up to 40% of the average O’Fallon home’s utility bill is related to heating and cooling costs.

Therefore, any changes you can make in this category can make a big impact overall. Although there are several good ways to keep your home comfortable, the most efficient method is to use a geothermal heating system from Hoff Heating & AC. Understanding how these systems work will help you determine if one is right for you.

What Is a Geothermal Heating System?

A geothermal heating system is a state-of-the-art way to heat your home. This system consists of pipes buried underground on your property, a pump, and a fan of some kind. Together, these components replace a typical HVAC system, providing both heating and cooling capabilities to keep your home comfortable year-round.

How Does a Geothermal Heating System Work?

The key to the geothermal system from Hoff Heating & AC is the closed loop – called a ground loop – that contains refrigerant. As the refrigerant circulates, it absorbs the natural heat from the surrounding ground, thus heating the refrigerant. The pump circulates the refrigerant.

The pump also transfers the heat absorbed by the refrigerant to a heat exchanger located inside your home. Finally, the fan, part of something called the distribution system, blows air over the heat exchanger before it moves through the ducts that carry the warm air throughout your home. This process continues until your home reaches the temperature that you set on your thermostat.

What Are the Advantages of a Geothermal Heating System?

When considering a geothermal heating system from Hoff Heating & AC, the main benefit that you’ll gain is vastly lower energy consumption. That’s because a geothermal heating system is largely a passive system. In other words, this system exists only to move heat energy from under the ground and deliver it into your home. Moving heat energy that already exists is a fairly low-demand process compared to a typical HVAC system’s demands.

In a typical HVAC system, chemical energy or electrical energy must be converted to heat energy before your home can be heated. Unfortunately, as with most energy conversions, the conversion from chemical or electrical energy to heat energy isn’t 100% efficient. The loss you experience is what makes a geothermal heating system an ideal way to save energy.

How Long Does a Geothermal System Last?

Due to the need for buried underground pipes, the initial cost of a geothermal heating system from Hoff Heating & AC is typically higher than that of a typical HVAC system. The good news, though, is that the equipment that makes up a geothermal system lasts far longer than standard HVAC equipment, giving you far more time to recoup your investment from the energy that your system saves.

In general, the heat pump in a geothermal system can last 25 years or more. Plus, the underground pipes in a geothermal system can be expected to last 100 years or more. Compared to a typical HVAC system, which has an average life expectancy of about 15 years, a clear winner is a geothermal heating system.

Can a Geothermal Heating System Be Installed in a Small Yard?

Small yards provide ease-of-maintenance that large yards can’t match. However, you may worry that your small yard will prevent you from enjoying the benefits of a geothermal heating system.

The good news is that the ground loop system vital to the operation of a geothermal system can be installed by Hoff Heating & AC in a vertical orientation. This means that the pipes will be installed deeper underground than they would in a typical geothermal installation. Although this may contribute to a higher cost in some situations, it’s more than worth it when you consider all the benefits of a geothermal heating system.

Are There Other Benefits to a Geothermal Heating System?

The benefits to a geothermal heating system extend far beyond lower utility costs and longer equipment life. One major benefit of a geothermal heating system is that you can tie into the heat that the system pulls from underground and use it to heat the water in your water heater. Thus, you can essentially eliminate two of the biggest energy hogs in your home with one efficient system.

Another benefit to geothermal heating is that it lowers your home’s energy consumption to the point that you may be able to power your home with a localized solar array. In the case of many solar installations, they can’t provide enough power to satisfy a typical HVAC system’s needs, meaning that you have to stay tied to the grid. If you have a geothermal heating system, though, you may be able to disconnect from the grid entirely, allowing you to save a remarkable amount of money.

Can a Geothermal System Work in Extreme Temperatures?

Another common alternative heating method that Hoff Heating & AC installs is a heat pump. This device uses a compressor to extract heat from the outside air, not to run a furnace. Unfortunately, this system falls short on especially cold days since the system has to turn on a backup heating element to make up for the air’s lack of heat.

Fortunately, a geothermal heating system does not suffer from these limitations. Since the ground absorbs so much solar energy, its temperature stays fairly constant, even during long stretches of cold weather. Therefore, even when regular heat pumps wouldn’t be able to keep up, a geothermal heating system will be able to keep your home warm and comfortable.

What Are the Steps to Getting a Geothermal Heating System?

If you think a geothermal heating system might be right for your home, the first step is to call Hoff Heating & AC. A technician will come to your home and discuss your heating goals with you. Then they will take some measurements to ensure the equipment will fit properly. After that, the best equipment will be selected, and the installation will begin. Once the initial planning stages are complete, the system can typically be installed in two or three days.

Providing You With Plenty of Options

At Hoff Heating & AC, we believe in providing our customers with plenty of options for home comfort. That’s why we offer geothermal heating system installation, traditional HVAC system maintenance, repair, and installation, plus ductless mini-split system installation.

We believe that providing multiple options allows you to get exactly what you need, all at a great price. This care for our customers has resulted in us receiving the Angie’s List Super Service Award and an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau since our founding over 35 years ago. If you are interested in learning more about geothermal heating for your home, we encourage you to contact us at Hoff Heating & AC today.